|About the Book|
The Renaissance was one of the great periods of creative and intellectual achievement. This age of genius, from its origins in the thirteenth century to its zenith in sixteenth-century Rome, produced some of the most fascinating and dynamic artistsMoreThe Renaissance was one of the great periods of creative and intellectual achievement. This age of genius, from its origins in the thirteenth century to its zenith in sixteenth-century Rome, produced some of the most fascinating and dynamic artists of all time--Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci. In his adventurous new book, lavishly illustrated with 125 color illustrations, acclaimed art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon takes a fresh look at this most exciting period in art history, challenging many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Renaissance.The Italian scholars who first dreamed of a Renaissance wished to revive the spirit of classical antiquity after the darkness--as they saw it--of the medieval and Byzantine periods. Graham-Dixon argues, however, that the Renaissance represented a culmination rather than a complete rejection of those earlier influences. Starting in the Middle Ages with the impact of the Franciscan movement on painting in Italy, Graham-Dixons reappraisal of the Renaissance takes us through the key moments of its development, focusing on the major artists and architects of the time: the Early Renaissance in Florence--Giotto, Masaccio, Donatello, and Brunelleschi- the Northern Renaissance--Dürer, Cranach, and Brueghel- Venice--Titian, Palladio, and Tintoretto- and the High Renaissance in Rome--Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael.Renaissance also outlines the historical context of this time of great social as well as artistic change. It reveals the social climate in which these artists worked: the power struggles between the Renaissance rulers of the Italian city-states, the French invasions of Italy, the invention of printing, and the Protestant Reformation. Along with his vivid, highly original, and often extremely entertaining descriptions of the works themselves, Graham-Dixon not only reassesses but also brings to life one of the most glorious periods in history.